Rukararwe: Another Community Tourism Initiative in Uganda
Positioned in Nyakabirizi Division in the municipality of Ishaka-Bushenyi 4km off the highway connecting Bushenyi and Kasese, the Rukararwe Centre enjoys the fascinating raised vantage points of Irembeezi hills along with various tree species canopies making it a perfect Uganda safari stop point for the travelers to the western Uganda destinations.
The Rukararwe Partnership Workshop for Rural Development (RPWRD) presents a diversified experience with great aspect of ecotourism which is currently one of the niches in the Uganda tour products.
The centre was founded by the late Samson Nyine Bitahwa in the year 1986 with the intention of promoting self reliance among the community members to minimize donor dependency which would be achieved through undertaking a myriad of projects.
Among these projects included; Crafts Against Poverty (CAP) featuring Women that make handicrafts and sell them at the site thus stimulating them to make use of their skills and earn a living.
The products include; bracelets, necklaces, earrings, drums, glass beads, shakers, harp among others.
The second project of the centre is Bushenyi Medical and Traditional Healers Association that came into being in the year 1988 joining together western-trained and traditional healers and this group features a count of 75 healers with a functioning clinic and a laboratory with 30 herbal medicine categories as viewed by the interested travelers on safaris in Uganda.
The Rukararwe Centre also features a four (4) acre forest providing a rich habitat to myriad of bird species among which include; the Paradise Fly catcher, Crested Crane, Sunbirds, Common bulu-bulu, Hammer kop, Sparrow, Wood pecker, Rose Taracho and the nocturnal like Owl. This makes the centre of interest to the birders on birding safaris and tours in Uganda.
The Irembeezi Hills present a remarkable nature walk which is also spiced up by the community interaction that offers the guests with a courteous welcome with Ekitaguriro – the traditional dance of the Banyankole.
The hike itself is a therapeutic encounter for the High blood pressure and diabetes patients as it helps to exercise the body.
The visitors can as well be treated to local experiential encounters like making of local brew from bananas, traditional food preparation like Matooke, Eshabwe from Cow Ghee and the mingling of millet bread.
Besides the impressive activities, the Rukararwe center features accommodation in twelve (12) Cottages with traditional architecture configured as Single and double and are named after the common African animals like lions, Zebras, Elephants, Monkey among others. The accommodation is affordable at 50,000/= (about $15) for a double and 30,000/= (about $10) for Single rooms.
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